As we enter into 2013, many of us are pondering new adventures. With that comes potential headaches with planning and execution: tracking where you're supposed to be and when, figuring out transportation, and, most importantly, searching for good, local eats.
Never fear! There are four travel apps out there that can get you through what can sometimes otherwise be one annoying hassle after the other. TripIt, Seamless, Uber and Hipmunk. Here are my thoughts on each:
TripIt is available free on iOS devices, online, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. What's it do? It combs your emails for itineraries, making them easy to access in one place - and you less crazy in the airport at 2 a.m. on some random layover.
You sign yourself up for an email notification from the airline, TripIt grabs it and keeps everything together. The bonus here is that as long as you have your phone, you never have to actually bring any kind of paper itinerary anywhere again. When I travel, I know that TripIt has my schedule and my confirmation numbers. I connect with my family so they know where I am (this is an optional feature) and if I'm ever without my phone, I can always go online and get what I need. Another bonus for analytics geeks like me: It tracks how many miles you've covered.
More on their website: https://www.tripit.com.
Seamless makes finding good, local delivery food really fast and really easy. The app finds your location, giving you the option to sort by how much you want to spend and if a business is open at that time. You then order and pay through the app and 30 to 45 minutes later, you have bomb-ass authentic navratan korma at the door. There's a small service charge, but there are also restaurants that will do a discounted amount, ultimately making the service/delivery charge essentially free. It's great.
The only downside is that not all cities - Charlotte, for example - have it. Lucky for you, though: You're out traveling when you need Seamless, not when you're back here.
More on their website: http://www.seamless.com.
Uber was the star of the show that night in Boston, Mass., a couple of weeks ago when a group of us needed a cab and were nowhere near where one would casually drive by. Since there were six of us, we used Uber and for $6 per person, we made it back to 40 Berkeley in style. We ordered a large car but a limo showed up. Sweet!
More on their website: https://www.uber.com/.
Hipmunk is the easiest travel plans/search site I know of, especially for those who enjoy multimodal travel. Hipmunk allows you to search not only planes but also trains, and since we all know train travel out of Charlotte is borderline orgasmic, you can see why Hipmunk is amazing. I can't say enough good things about it.
More on their website: http://hipmunk.com.